Comfrey, Russian Root Crown Cutting (Bocking 14 Cultivar), organic

$4.00$60.00

Family:  Borage (Boraginacea)

Hardy in Zones 4 to 8

Herbaceous perennial flowering to 3 feet, a hybrid of Russian Symphytum asperum and European Symphytum officinalis.  Bocking 14 cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum).  Sterile hybrid does not make seeds.

Uses: Comfrey is commonly used in permaculture as a companion plant to fruit trees.  In the nursery, we have great results making the fresh leaves into biodynamic tea, which we apply to our plants in a pot to increase vitality, growth, and to green up all those leaves! Excellent ingredient for compost piles–fresh leaves compost fast and make a nitrogen-rich compost!  Fresh, rubbed leaves fed to ruminants, pigs and chickens to increase health and as a protein-rich nutrient dense feed.  Traditional usage of fresh or dried leaves or roots (TWM):  used externally to speed healing. Source of cell-proliferating molecule alantoin.

What is a root crown cutting?  A chunk of the crown of the plant (the blocky part above the taproots), often with a piece of the taproot attached.  Size is variable.  We give generous cuttings, from 2 to 6 inches long, generally as big around as your thumb, often larger, sometimes smaller–a mix.  These are the SAME CUTTINGS that we use for replanting our own fields, and horticulturally speaking, this is the best size and shape to replant in order to get fast results.  This is NOT just a piece of the taproot, which generally takes longer to grow to a full sized plant than the more desirable crown cutting.

How to plant:  Space the plants at least 2 feet apart.  Comfrey prefers rich soil of medium moisture in the sun to part shade.  It is a heavy feeder and will reach monumental size if given composted manure under the cutting at transplant and/or around the crown of the plant during the growth cycle. To plant the cutting, prepare a weed-free area of 1 foot square, fertilize the spot with compost, then bury the cutting in the center of that spot, completely covering the cutting with soil to the depth of 1 or 2 inches.  Do not leave the cutting exposed–let it sprout spontaneously up through the soil.  This will take about 2 weeks–you will see the bright green leaves emerging.

How to care for comfrey plants:  Keep the planting reasonably well watered. It works very nicely to mulch the plant with straw, other high-carbon mulch, or even its own leaves, cut from the plant and laid back down around the crown.  This is the standard way to take care of comfrey–when it finishes flowering and starts to keel over, cut it down and use the leaves for any of the multitude of applications comfrey leaves are good for, or simply lay the leaves back down on the crown of the plant and let it grow back through its own mulch.  In the temperate zone, this cycle usually occurs 2 or three times per summer.  The only way to get rid of comfrey is to stop watering it and let the plant dry out, or to drown the plant in water.  Otherwise, the plant will stay put where you plant it, unless you dig through it or rototill or plow the area, in which case new plants will come up from root fragments wherever they are deposited. Many people plant comfrey in the orchard, as it brings up minerals from deep within the earth that are good for fruit trees, and because it nourishes the trees with its fallen and composted leaves.  The above directions are suitable for comfrey culture in orchards, and traditionally at least one plant is planted per tree.  You can mow over the plants if necessary–they will re-emerge.

For more information on use of comfrey in the home garden and for use of comfrey in herbal medicine, including appropriate directions for safe usage in home health care, please read “The Medicinal Herb Grower Vol 1” and “Making Plant Medicine.”

Root Crown Cutting, certified organically grown

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5 out of 5 stars

17 reviews

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11 reviews with a 5-star rating

  1. Crissy Crutchfield

    So very pleased!

    Crissy Crutchfield (verified owner)

    I received healthy and beautiful crown cuttings! They started sending up leaves within days of being planted! Strictly medicinal has my business!

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  2. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Christine

    So Happy!

    Christine

    I’m new to comfrey and was really happy with how easy it was to plant and have them sprout. They’re growing well and I plan to order more!

    I do have one question – I live in San Antonio and though it’s warm most months, it does get ridiculously cold here in the winter. Do I need to cover them in the winter months?

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  3. Karen

    Very Impressed

    Karen

    When I received my order I planted them in nursery pots awaiting good weather — we’re in the foothills of the Cascade mountains and still had snow on the ground.

    Within a month all of the plants had clusters of 8″ leaves and looked terrific.

    I have not received such good quality plants when ordering from other companies. I’m very pleased and will order again.

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  4. William Doehring

    Comfrey Root Cuttings

    William Doehring (verified owner)

    Ordered 20 cuttings, and actually received 22.. They all arrived in good packaging. I opened the day I received them and planted them in small pots, indoors. We are in Zone 4a, and still had snow and frozen ground when they arrived. Within the last week and a half, all but two have started to come up…making 20 successful plants, which is what I ordered and was hoping for. I am still holding out to see if the last two will push through. Either way, I am very happy with the service and roots I have received. I will definitely be buying more plants from you in the future. Thank you.

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  5. GardenGal

    Comfrey, Russian Root Crown Cutting (Bocking 14 Cultivar), organic

    GardenGal (verified owner)

    I ordered 20 root crown cutting and am very pleased with the health and size of the crowns. Planted immediately and all but one came up within a week! The last one just seemed to lag a bit but has now officially sprouted and appears to be doing fine. Actually, I received 21 cuttings and thought that was a nice touch on their part for that “just in case”. I will definitely be ordering from Strictly Medicinal Seeds again. Thank you!

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  6. One person found this helpful
    Logan King

    Great People, Great Product

    Logan King (verified owner)

    Hefty cuttings of some really healthy comfrey. They arrived swiftly, and during the freaking covid outbreak. These people do great work.

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  7. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Anila Nair

    Excellent quality root crown cuttings

    Anila Nair (verified owner)

    I’m happy with the excellent root crown cuttings I received. They were all big chunky pieces and I planted them immediately and within a few days have started sprouting leaves. Really really happy with this purchase.

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  8. Julie Preston

    Happy campers

    Julie Preston (verified owner)

    Planted roots were up within one week of planting. Had a couple of spares that I potted up for gifting. Superb shipping. Love the packing material. Recycle or reuse. The nursery pots will come In handy later. Thank you!

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  9. One person found this helpful
    Jean Mitchell

    Love Comfrey

    Jean Mitchell (verified owner)

    I live in Portland, Oregon and a few years ago I purchased the Bocking 14 Comfrey from Strictly Medicinal Seeds. Planted the root as directed and waited for the first sign of life breaking soil. Sure enough within about 2 week it broke through, I was so excited because I have never grown Comfrey before. I love it and use it in my garden as a soil booster. It is the end of April and my plant is full and beautiful after a mild but wet winter. Everyone should have Comfrey in their gardens, the bees love it as do my plants and veggies.

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  10. 3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    SapperGardener

    Bought a few

    SapperGardener

    We bought 6 of these and all grew well. So well in fact we probably could have bought less, as we have successfully been splitting them each of the last two years. They are great for our fruit trees and chickens!

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  11. 11 out of 11 people found this helpful
    betsy

    everybody loves it

    betsy

    The bees love it. The deer poke their noses through the garden fence for snacks. I can chop at it indiscriminately and it grows back with the attitude of ‘is that all you got?’ And yes, be sure you put it where you want it the first time. One tiny bit of missed root during a dig out will make a new massive plant very quickly causing your significant other to ask ‘how many of these guys do we really need?’
    I make a comfrey/plantain salve with it every spring. I love it.

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